Some things are unfair. Besides my baby dying, that is. Some things that I myself do are unfair.
Like for my older kids, the way I don’t celebrate their birthdays anymore. Not really, I don’t. Sometimes it’s a cop out: Let’s take a special trip to the beach for your birthday! Or, oh… you just want to spend a special day with grandma Ioia? Great! Off you go…
It’s not that I don’t want to celebrate my kids. I am very much aware of what a special blessing they are, of how randomly lucky it is to have two live, healthy, vibrant children that grow and learn and hug my neck with their short chubby arms.
I know how random and undeserved it is that I get to see two little people grow up next to me.
I want to celebrate that. I want to celebrate them. To give them their special day, were it’s all about them, about getting their friends together and singing to them. Where other moms, when they are saying their goodbyes, congratulate me too on these years of parenting, of changing and becoming with my children.
I was looking through our old tumblr photos. Precursor to facebook or instagram popularity? Do people still use tumblr? What do I know? I still prefer hand crafted notes in the mail. Two things kicked my butt into sad reflection: one is that there seems to have been a time when I rejoiced without sadness in my third pregnancy. There were a few months when we didn’t know the pregnancy would end when our girl died. In those photos, we look so ignorant.
Also, I used to go all out for birthdays. I sewed party bunting. Really. A tee shirt decorating, cake pop extravaganza, potted flowers in clever coffee can vases all out party for my boys.
And now. My youngest… not his fault, poor monkey, that his birthday is 9 days after his baby sister’s.
I think it’s about wanting to stay inside my protective cave. For birthdays, a little bit, you put yourself on display. You dress up your home and party on. And I feel so vulnerable during Luna’s birthdays… I don’t quite seem to get my act together for her brother’s celebration.
Maybe, in time, I will learn how to be bereaved and celebratory all at once. Maybe I will figure out how to throw one child a party and be quiet inside for the other child at the same time.
Parenting is not easy. It’s about people demanding things of you, different things, all at the same time. My kids, both living and dead, all very demanding. Maybe I’m still just trying to figure out how to mother three different kids all at once. Took me long enough to figure out how to juggle a two-year-old and a new baby… maybe this is just a new challenge.
And maybe, soon… before they figure out to really complain about it, before they have enough lousy birthdays in their lives to cry over to a nice, understanding, mother-blaming therapist, maybe I will get my act together and make my sons a proper cake, instead of popping a lone candle in a muffin.